"Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23
These words from Proverbs are some pretty heavy words. It is also the reason why we must so carefully guard our hearts and the heart of our children.
It's about our heart.
I want to be so connected to Christ that my outwardness reflects my inwardness.
The verse in Proverbs is quite clear. The heart really is the center of everything.
As a woman- as a wife, as a mom- I want to have the meek and quiet spirit that 1 Peter 3:4 speaks of. It's my 2013 word!
As a mom I want to guard my children's heart.
I hear the song over and over in my head.... "Oh be careful little eyes what you see.... Oh be careful little ears what you hear..... Oh be careful little feet where you go..... Oh be careful little heart whom you trust."
It's all about our heart.
It's all about our heart.
I cannot be fully equipped to guard my children's heart if I am not guarding my own. I must have an outward appearance of femininity so that I don't lead my children astray of what a godly Christian woman looks like. I must have an inward appearance of meekness and quietness to show my children what a godly Christian woman sounds like. I must guard my own heart against what is evil to show them how to stand strong in the Lord, how to be different and set apart (Romans 12:2), and how to be instantly obedient to the Lord's promptings. I must exercise self-control, wisdom, alertness, attentiveness, and even take initiative.
My children might not always understand my decisions, especially while they are young. My children might not always like my decisions, especially while they are young.
But because it is all about the heart I must do it anyway.
As a parent, guard your child's heart.
Teach them about modesty- but teach them that it comes from their heart. You dress in a way that reflects your relationship to Christ. You dress in a way that draws attention to HIM, not you. You teach your sons to respect women and not to let Satan draw him in to temptation. You teach your daughters to respect men and not to let Satan use her as temptation.
Build their character- but always point it to their heart. A godly character is going to reflect the fruit of the Spirit. Mold them and teach them about different character qualities and watch for ways to reinforce them! Help them to understand why being alert is so important! (According to the Duggar's character quality chart, alertness is defined as "Being aware of that which is taking place around me so I can have the right response"). I'd say if you were trying to guard a heart alertness would be very important.
Teach them the whys- and never let them forget to keep their guard up. Don't just give your kids a bunch of "do this" and "don't do that's", equip them with the whys! A heart is only going to be guarded as long as someone is concerned about it. You protect and fight for something that is valuable. The minute you stop protecting and fighting for your child's heart is the moment that the heart is left out in the open for the enemy's attack. Are you teaching them the true value of their heart? When you stop, will they take over?
Set ground rules- but teach them about their heart. As parents, sometimes we have to make tough decisions. No, they may not watch that TV show- even if their friends (or uncle, or grandma) does. No, they may not read that book- even if their friends (or aunts, or granddad) does. No, you may not hang out with so-in-so- even if they do attend our church. You may have to constantly remind your son to avert his eyes when a scantily clad magazine is nearby. You may have to constantly remind your daughter to control her attitude and that no, we do not roll our eyes at authority. Sometimes, there's just ground rules that must be set so that we can teach our children to value their heart.